Today’s First-Time Homebuyers Are Late Bloomers Compared to Those From Decades Ago

Know any millennials still on the rent bandwagon and with little to no aspiration to buy a house any time soon? It would be surprising if you don’t. According to a new Zillow report, first-time homebuyers tend to rent for an average of six years before signing off on a mortgage and are likely to be older, single, and spending a larger portion of their income compared to first-timers in the 1970 and 80s.

Indeed, if you want to get number-specific, first-time homebuyers from the 1970s rented for an average of 2.6 years, almost three times less than they do now. Moreover, they bought homes for about 1.7 times their income, while their millennial counterparts go for houses that cost 2.6 times their annual income. Age-wise, the 1970s and 80s saw its first-timers at 29 and 30 years old; today, the average first-time homebuyer is 33.

So, what exactly is behind this postponement by today’s young grown-ups? Dr. Svenja Gudell, Zillow’s chief economist, attributes it to a general slowing down in life milestones:  “Millennials are delaying all kinds of major life decisions, like getting married and having kids, so it makes sense that they would also delay buying a home,” she says.

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Rent Watch: Philly’s 3 Most Expensive ‘Hoods for a 1-Bedroom Apartment

It’s the middle of the summer and chances are good that you might be looking for a new place to live. We have a map that is going to be quite handy for you when it comes to figuring out that delicate balance of where you want to live, and then what you can actually afford.

Rental site Zumper recently compiled a list of the median 1-bedroom monthly rental rates for each pocket of the city. It’s all boiled down into this handy color-coded map that will give you an idea of where the action is and how much it’s going to cost you.

Here is the map

Up, Up, Up!: The Latest Housing Report for Bucks County

On the heels of a BHHS HomExpert report that saw an increase in Philadelphia home sales within the first six months of the year comes a new set of findings, this time from one of Philly’s surrounding counties: Coldwell Banker Hearthside, REALTORS have released their Market Research from TREND MLS Data in Bucks County.

The takeaways? For one thing, Bucks has seen a 3.8 percent hike in its inventory unit levels, meaning that compared to June of last year, this past June saw 169 more homes on sale. CBH REALTORS President Jaime Mancuso attributes this rise to a boost in property sales, according to a press release – emphasis ours:

“Based on the trend lines we’ve seen over the past year, we believe buyers have more choices because of the increased inventory provided by inspired sellers, who have seen that homes on the market are moving quickly in Bucks County. However, unlike what we saw in 2006 and 2007, the market remains healthy because there have not been inflated price increases.”

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Headlines: Where Does Philly Rank for First Time Home Buyers?

There’s been a lot of talk recently about the state of the real estate market in Philadelphia. We know that home sales are up across the board in the Second Quarter (good news), but overall, how does Philly stack up to other cities when it comes to the all-important first time home buyer?

A new report from personal finance website WalletHub shows Philly sits smack dab in the middle of the pack at number 31 of a list of 62  “large cities” (over 300,000 people), clustered with a group that includes New Orleans (29), Minneapolis (30), San Antonio (32) and San Diego (33). For what it’s worth, Pittsburgh, with its population around 305,000 people, is ranked 8th on the list of large cities

However, for those first time home buyers looking to live in one of the most populous cities in the the United States, Philly is among the best. Only Houston (15) ranks higher on the list.

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RealtyTrac Says Philly Was Still Mired in Foreclosure Filings Last Year


In spite of national foreclosure filings taking a dip in 2014, RealtyTrac says their data and analysis of the Greater Philadelphia Area found it “still mired in foreclosures, short sales, and bank repossessions” last year.

Oh, bother.

According to the Inquirer, RealtyTrac’s report mentions distressed homes and zombie properties that depress prices in certain neighborhoods as the culprits. Also noted are slow-moving judicial foreclosure backlogs:

“The list of states with increased activity in the last months of 2014 includes those with judicial foreclosure backlogs, such as Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New York.”

Such backlogs mean that in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, the foreclosure process often takes three years or more. Many mortgage lenders deferred pursuing foreclosures because of the backlogs, and the 2014 increase reflected attempts to catch up.

H/T: Foreclosures down nationwide, still increasing in Phila. region [Inquirer]

Redfin Predicts Philly’s Housing Market Will Be a “Sleeper” in 2015

Photo credit: Flicker user Jeanette Runyon.

Photo credit: Flicker user Jeanette Runyon.

Glance at the latest reports on Philly’s housing market and you find a city with an improving economy, slowly burgeoning job opportunities, and a rising number of new constructions. Reading Redfin’s most recent 2015 prediction chart on the topic, however, humbles our town down to “sleeper” status in the face of “stalwarts” like Houston, Chicago and Dallas.

So how did the real estate brokerage come to that conclusion? For one thing, they didn’t just look at national averages since market level data doesn’t usually show the “widely varying conditions” in the numbers. Instead, they took a closer look at each market and came up with six housing personas, all of which are identified as such:  Read more »

Morning Headlines: University City Leads the City In New Office Construction


It’s official: University City is in a construction boom and we have the numbers to prove it thanks to the University City District’s annual State of University City report.

According to their findings, not only has their been a huge surge in the neighborhood’s population, but there are thirty-two new development projects that were “advanced or completed” during this cycle alone, totaling to “6.9 million sq. ft. of new office, research, residential, academic and medical facilities in addition to nearly 2.2 acres of public space.”

Naked Philly’s Lou Mancinelli points out that the biggest increase in new University City construction has been in private investment, which has earned the neighborhood first place when it comes to office construction in the Philadelphia: “82% of all office construction in the region taking place in UC.”

Related to that, the report also found that office occupancy was highest in UC than any other submarket in Philadelphia (the report says there are twenty-seven), boasting 96% occupancy.

All in all, the last five years has brought University City 9.99 million square feet of real estate projects. Check out the full report here to get a full visual of UC’s growth, as well as the housing graph below.

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Philadelphia’s Third Quarter Results in Ambivalent Housing Market Report

Photo credit: Jeff Fusco

Photo credit: Jeff Fusco

Metrostudy published their third quarter housing report for the Philadelphia MSA (that is, Metropolitan Statistical area, which includes the four counties, plus three counties in New Jersey and three in Delaware) a few days ago.  Their findings show that the region is…well, we’ll let one of their regional director’s explain: Read more »

Morning Headlines: There’s a Construction Boom in University City

4101 Sansom, in development by Campus Apartments. Photo: Laura Kicey

4101 Sansom, in development by Campus Apartments. Photo: Laura Kicey

No doubt new projects sprouting around the city are contributing to Philadelphia’s growth spurt, but University City in particular has been seeing a substantial rise in developments that had last been present decades ago. According to Natalie Kostelni of the Philadelphia Business Journal, the neighborhood is getting over $1 billion in funds for new constructions.

Other positives alongside the building boom include:

Jobs and employment have risen, population grown, housing stock increased, the number of restaurants and retailers crept up and the amount of office inventory has expanded and maintains an enviable 96 occupancy rate, according to University City’s latest annual report. An abundance of development activity is underway and billions of dollars more will eventually be set in motion.

Among the projects planned to help revitalize the West Philly neighborhood even further are the 40th St. trolley station renovation, which is a collaboration between the University City District, SEPTA, and various city agencies.

University City on the rise [Business Journal]

More news this way…

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Philly Housing is Having a Growth Spurt

Photo credit: Flicker user Jeanette Runyon.

Photo credit: Flickr user Jeanette Runyon.

In a contributing article to Next City, Emma Jacobs reports that Philadelphia could be in the midst of an unprecedented housing boom. The growth spurt is evident throughout the city, which was ranked in third place by the Associated General Contractors of America in a list of metro regions who saw a rise in construction jobs.

“Neither of us can remember, in our lifetimes in this city, a construction boom of this magnitude,” said deputy mayor of economic development Alan Greenberger during the announcement.

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